Don’t get fooled when it comes to Backups
Have you ever lost your phone with all your photos, music and random memories on it? Have you ever had an external drive with all your precious wedding photos, or your children’s birthdays, and the next moment – gone? Hard Drive Failure. Do you have a business, and suffered loss of data due to theft, fire or also a hard drive failure and lost the information that keeps your company going with all your financials on it? Well, most people realize the importance of backups when it is too late. Before I carry on with this article, please read up on our backup page about the shocking statistics the impacts of data loss can have HERE.
Hypothetically speaking now (we all know it’s never hypothetically), I have seen other ICT companies offering “backups” as part of a maintenance agreement, or just a plain backup plan. Delving deeper, those companies arrive with an external drive, plug it into each and every computer, run their backup software, and off they go. Just think about something for a moment. Where is your data being stored? Are those backups also backed up (like the 3-2-1 backup rule I believe is a minimum requirement for each business)? Are those backups encrypted? Are those backups stored in a safe place? Am I maybe paranoid asking these questions – YES, because it is your whole company’s information in the hands of someone you don’t know how they perform their backups and procedures on how to store it?
Then there is another side of backups (especially for larger corporations or businesses dealing with larger corporations), and that is backup retention. For auditing purposes, the question might come up and ask for your data backup records (you are working with trusted documents between you and another company), and for how long your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly backups are stored (retention). Back to the previous paragraph – was the company performing your backups on their little external drive transparent with you and keep logs of all the backups and can provide you with the storage methods and the safekeeping of your data? I will answer it for you – NO! The majority of small IT companies don’t know this stuff because 9 out of 10 don’t have corporate/enterprise IT experience. They are not aware of the implications of what can happen when backups are needed for restoration purposes, as well as cost to companies due to downtime. If you are reading this and are part of one of those companies, well, here you have it and maybe reconsider this service if you can’t deal with the risks involved. It is not worth being slapped by the POPI act if your client’s data has been exposed, right?
This article might be seen as another rant (maybe because it is), because some of the larger corporations and businesses have been sweet-talked just to get the deal. Man, if only they knew. Again, what would you do if you lost every little piece of data your company has because your service provider screwed up? You can consider closing your doors as it would be the cheaper route to go. And said companies will realize this, only after a data disaster. Then sorry – it is too late.
Then comes the OTHER side of your backups, and that is disaster recovery. Oh man. Do you think your company need all of this? YES, IT DOES. Ask yourself again and again and again, what would be the plan should disaster strike and I need to get back online and working again with minimal downtime? Disaster recovery plans should form part of the assessment done by the geniuses who make use of the “single external drive, carry it in my laptop bag which is stored in my car and forget about it”. This is a documented procedure on what to do in case of an IT emergency. Think it is not necessary? Until it happens to you, then it is too late.
Going the cheaper route is not the best route. Yeah, you might have something to work with when making use of cheap services, but how reliable are they? I get it a lot (and I mean a LOT) of times when people ask me for quotes on a proper backup system, and when they see the price, they will immediately go with the cheaper companies. And if I say that I am expensive, then I mean it is small change for even mid-sized businesses. A centralized NAS performing daily incremental backups, a reliable ICT company (oh yes, TechStudio) will provide the needed transparency and documentation, as well as taking the backup of the backup of site, store that backup on another backup system, on an agreed schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.).
What would you do if you lost everything? It does happen in South Africa – daily! Companies are at such high risks without proper backup solutions in place, that they gamble with the existence of their company should disaster strike.
If you think backups aren’t important, well, then I feel sorry (and I mean it coming from my heart) for you because memories and data stored digitally are gone forever. If you have backups, make sure you have backups of your backups – you can’t have enough backups.
Don’t get fooled by companies just plugging in an External Hard Drive (which might contain a virus and affect your company) and make backups of your data. You will pay dearly for it. Get the people who knows this stuff. You can’t put a price on memories and business data. You just can’t.
Thank you for reading this article. Please feel free to place your comments below so that I can see what your opinion is about this all.